A teary-eyed Najib Abdul Razak spoke about his father, Abdul Razak Husseinâ€™s achievements on the 40th anniversary of the second Malaysian Prime Ministerâ€™s death.
Najib wept for his father; the rakyat wept for the country. Malaysians over 40 years of age onwards, felt sorry that under Najib, the unique Malaysian multicultural way of life, which was prevalent during his fatherâ€™s tenure, has been lost.
Tolerance has been replaced by intolerance. The different races are pitted against one another. Muslims demand respect, and yet their religious officials snatch the bodies of non-Muslims, kidnap non-Muslim children, and send the moral police to snoop on Malays. Whilst Abdul Razak was prudent, Najib and his spouse are not.
In truth, Najib learnt nothing from his father. Najib had the perfect teacher; former PM, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Mahathir is Najibâ€™s mentor. Najib learnt more from Mahathir than he did from his own father. Najib just perfected Mahathirâ€™s racist and religious, divisive tactics.
Last week, at a commemorative seminar for his father, Najib said, â€œAbdul Razak gave his life for this country. Today, 40 years after his passing, I stand before you and say that I am proud to be his son, and that every day I work to live up to that lineage.â€
We are all proud to be Malaysian. Many non-Malay Malaysians gave their lives to free Malaya from Japanese rule, in the run-up to Merdeka, during the Emergency and the Confrontation, but Umno-Baruâ€™s racist policies ignored their heroic efforts. One minister had the audacity to ask why there were so few non-Malays in the armed forces. The Malaysia that Tunku Abdul Rahman left us, is but a distant memory.
Najib also said, â€œWhat I am sure we can all agree on, and we do not need to be reminded of, is why Tun Razak truly deserves to be known as our Bapa Pembangunan (Father of Development).â€
Agencies such as the Federal Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority (Felcra), the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara), the National Corporation, Bumiputra Bank, Tabung Haji, Petronas and the Agricultural Bank were set up during Abdul Razak’s time.
Younger Malaysians may not know that Bank Bumiputra closed shop, after it was hit by scandal after scandal during Mahathirâ€™s tenure, Petronas is treated like the PMâ€™s personal piggy bank.
Today, under Najibâ€™s leadership, Mara is alleged to be running out of funds, Tabung Haji is allegedly used to prop up Najib’s pet agency, the 1MDB, Felda settlers have been issued with shares, and when share prices plummeted, they owned useless scraps of paper, not land.
In 1955, Razak was appointed Education Minister. Older Malaysians will claim that in the 50s, 60s and 70s, the colonial education system produced champions of industry, commerce and great diplomats. Our schools and universities were among the best in Asia.
Today, our schoolchildren struggle to string two words together in English. In the rural areas as well as in Mara boarding schools, Malays, who speak English, are mocked for being unpatriotic. When Mahathir was the Education Minister, from 1974 to 1977, English medium schools were turned into Malay medium schools.
People will wonder why Najib did not reverse this trend. The answer is that he does not want to upset his rural Malay electorate.
He also wants to keep the Malays ignorant because most of the research, reference reading material, and information on the internet, is in English.
Umno-Baru politicians fear the thinking and knowledgeable Malay. They do not want to be questioned. They want absolute submission. If you are in doubt, you only have to see the ministers of the Cabinet, who surround Najib.
Mahathir destroyed the independence of the civil service, the judiciary and the police. Najib has done nothing to return to the status quo.
Jakim started under Mahathir and Najib gave it a bigger role and a much larger budget. Friday sermons are no longer about the community, but are political propaganda.
Forget the nostalgia about Abdul Razak, because Najib is the heir to the Mahathir legacy.
Photo Credit: The Heat Malaysia
First published in The Heat Malaysia on 20 January 2016 under the title, “Mahathir, not Razak, is Najibâ€™s mentor”